The tyranny of Choice

In a society geared towards the individual, and dominated by consumerism and celebrity, we are constantly encouraged to choose a better life for ourselves. The weight of each choice and the super-abundance of options can cause crippling anxiety and we defer to others to make the right choices for us. When we do get what we want, fulfillment is swiftly replaced by dissatisfaction and desire for a better option.

In this animated video Professor Renata Salecl explores the paralyzing anxiety and dissatisfaction surrounding limitless choice. Does the freedom to be the architects of our own lives actually hinder rather than help us? Does our preoccupation with choosing and consuming actually obstruct social change?

Renata Salecl is a Slovenian philosopher, sociologist and legal theorist. She is a senior researcher at the Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law at the University of Ljubljana. She has been a visiting professor at London School of Economics for several years and is about to take over similar tasks at Birkbeck College University of London, lecturing on the topic of emotions and law.


Every year she lectures for a couple of weeks at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, on Psychoanalysis and Law. Renata Salecl is a leading scholar on this particular subject. She has also been teaching on neuroscience and law. In 2012 she has also been attached as visiting professor at Kings College, London. In 2010, Renata Salecl was awarded the title of “Slovenian woman scientist of the year”. In December of the same year, she was a candidate for a “Slovenian person of the year” by the daily newspaper Delo. On March 8, 2011 she was named the most successful woman in Slovenia.

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